LUMBINI - Happy belated birthday, Buddha! The birthday of Prince Siddhartha Gautama is a holiday traditionally celebrated in Mahayana Buddhism on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month. This year it fell on May 17, and that got the peace and party started from Sioux City to Sri Lanka.
The occasion allows us to look back, forward, and take a tour of the world's fourth most widely practiced religion.
Buddhism is about 2,500 years old, with different branches such as Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada is mostly followed in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, and Mahayana is strongest in Tibet, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Mongolia.
Since then, many other sects and schools have branched such as Zen, Kadampa, Nichiren, Sanlun, Sangharaj Nikaya, and many others.
Buddhism spread mainly throughout Asia and remained virtually unknown to the West until modern times, when it began attracting those looking for a more peaceful way of life. So light up a joss stick and ease into our worldwide Buddha tour...